On the stroke of 2200 hours Willow decided that the space she had rapidly cleared on the low table for Buffy's machine was large enough, and their was now no remaining glass on the floor from the vase she had knock over after the impromptu song.
"That song was amazing, I wonder were she leaned to sing?"
Anxiously sitting back down, as if waiting for the worst kind of dental treatment, Willow's mind went into overdrive.
"Computer time since last outgoing voice call?"
"Beep. Nine minutes 20 seconds."
As if on cue, the computer answered Willow's next question.
"Lobby entry requested by Buffy Summers, Access will be granted under Friend code 658 in 5 seconds unless master override requested."
"No override, send lift to lobby to collect, one or two life signs?"
"2 life signs confirmed."
"Thank you turn off heat pad 2."
Moving over to the kitchen area to pour three coffees Willow waited for the two most important people in her life to return and decide if they were going to be friends or enemies.
"You can stop panicking; see I bought her back all in one piece." Buffy shouted as she opened the door with her access key "Where do you want the gear?"
"Set it up on the table there will you. Tara can I have a word?"
Sensing Willow wasn't finished with the Hyperion conversation Tara looked out to the red tinged sky. "Sure let's take our coffees onto the balcony, while Buffy does her stuff."
Once outside in the crisp night air Tara waited for Willow to start the exchange expecting fireworks.
Moving close to Willow and taking her hand to re-establish their connection Tara gave her characteristic half smile.
"Um yeah I'm fine, bit worried about this test. Buffy says it's pretty cut and dry about 20 questions and that's it."
Frowning in dismay Willow got to the heart of what she wanted to know.
"Why did you suggest it then, its really risky you know. If this goes the wrong way Buffy's in a real spot, because there is no way I'm going to let her take you away from me, no way at all."
"If I'm a replicant then me going away would probably be for the best Willow. I know we said together, but if there is a price on my head then that puts you in the firing line and that's not ok. I'd rather go and fight with all my heart to learn the truth on my own. So I can get back to you, than you get hurt because of me."
Willow's frown grew. "Well you had better be prepared for me to be like a limpet because I'm not letting you go."
Moving together into a tight hold the pair fell into silence only to be interrupted by Buffy knocking on the glass to indicate she was ready.
"Ok let's do this," the pair said in unison and hand in hand went to get some answers.
Indicating the end seat on the Sofa, Buffy gestured for Tara to be seated "Ok you sit there please and try and stay as still as you can, ok. Willow can you sit on the other end there, so you're out of view of the iris recognition camera."
Once the pair were seated Buffy knelt down on the opposite side of the low table and made her final adjustments to the device that resembled the old fashioned 1990s laptops."
"Last chance Tara, you sure you want to do this?"
Nodding her accent Tara waited for the first question.
"Can you state your full name please."
"Mars Colony Base 4 medical."
"Ok that's the baseline, let's start. You need to keep your head as still as possible ok and answer the questions from your gut, don't think too hard, it's not advanced mathematics."
Taking a deep breath Buffy started the battery of question's which she knew by heart and prayed Tyrell and screwed up.
"You're in a queue for to pay for groceries and a mother and young child are in front of you. The child tries to grab one of the sweets by the counter and the mother spot's this and berates the child causing the child to cry terribly and apologise. The mother continues to shout even when the child is visibly distraught. What do you do?"
"I would intervene and try and put a stop to it, it sounds nasty."
"You have a pet Rabbit and it's old and sick with no prospect of recovery. What do you do?"
"I'd go to the Vet if they said it was in pain, I'd have it put down humanely."
"You are travelling on a crowded train and you see there is only one seat left, do you take it?"
"No I'm healthy, I would look to see if someone was more in need."
"What's you favourite song?"
"Mmm I don't know. I like Tao Kaliami, John Turant, and The Beatles. I don't have a favourite song it depends on my mood sorry."
"It's ok next question, what do you look for in a partner?"
"Um, that's a bit personal, honesty and a kind heart, plus a vagina's a must, heehee."
"Good to know. I'd gladly vouch for Willow on all three counts. You're scheduled for a job interview and a distant friend who you know is more qualified for the job asks you about it, because they are unhappy at their present job. Do you tell them or not?"
"If I needed the job badly, no I wouldn't, a girl's got to eat right. Not nice I know but I'd look out for any other jobs and tell them about it if it makes a difference."
After about 10 more questions Buffy smiled and rising with immense speed rushed to Tara to give her a big hug almost sending both of them flying.
"Oxygen, becoming an issue," Tara gasped.
Loosening her grip and making way for a beaming Willow, who wanted her turn. Buffy breathed a sigh of relief.
"I think you'll both guess the result right, your human, empathy rating's way up there I bet you're a great nurse."
Leaving the pair to their private moment, which seemed to involve a lot of stroking of faces with hands and feverish kissing. Buffy retreated to a safe distance quietly happy that she was out of one hell of a catch-22. She now realised however they had entered another.
"What on earth are Tyrell playing at putting out an APB on someone using Bladerunners?"
After a time Willow and Tara's urge to just cling with all their might together subsided and they pulled back a little to look into each other eyes. Willow was the first to speak after wiping away the start of a tear and sniffling.
"I'm sorry I'm not usually teary, you really scared me there you know."
Starting to brush away a few stray hairs from Willow's head Tara smiled.
"I'm sorry Honey, but I had to know and at least I'm not about to keel over any minute right."
Smiling back the redhead too started to play with Tara's blonde hair.
"Yeah, we still have to sort out you being wanted though; you remember I said about a plan I was going to tell you about. Well I think we should disappear for a while until we can sort this out."
Hearing the pair mention a plan Buffy decided the time was right to put in her vote.
"If you two are talking about going south of the border for a bit and getting drunk on tequila, I say stellar idea. At least until I can find out more information on what's going on. It's not safe in the US."
Turning between the two blondes, who seemed to be looking at her for idea's Willow shared her plan.
"Well I was thinking further a field to somewhere colder and where they drink whisky, say London?"
"Giles!" Buffy exclaimed remembering the kindly man who she had taken great pleasure in embarrassing on the few occasions they had met by flirting outrageously to shock his great British reserve.
"I've already got him working on his end," Willow explained as she outlined her idea for buying time for her and Buffy to do some major digging.
Once she had finished, both Buffy, and more importantly Tara, agreed that getting out of Dodge so to speak was a very good idea. Before they went however Buffy and Willow needed to do one thing to ensure they could dig into Tara's records at Tyrell.
The Tyrell mainframe, at least the part that they needed to crack, was only accessible if someone could get inside the Tyrell building and physically cut into the T20 lines to fit a two way link for Willow to use. That someone was going to be Buffy.
"So we have a plan. Tara you're on packing duties here. Pack as much as you can up to say 55 kilo's as my geek kit weighs 15. Buffy you're off to Tyrell after we pick up my gear. Me I'm going to hot foot it back here are giving you a hacking lesson, to set up the sweeper and test the link once you give the ok."
Buffy nodded her ok to the plan first adding "Getting in's no problem my IDs good, I'll just say I'm following up a lead. You say where you want this super snooper Hacker Girl and its done."
Tara was happy to stay behind on this one "I'll be backup gal any late night takeout request's as a celebratory meal."
"Chinese gets my vote," Willow suggested.
"Fine with me," Buffy shrugged. "So Operation Trio's good to go?"
"Yep, Tara I should be gone about 2 hours, no one should call or anything so ignore the phone. Giles has my cell which I'll take with me, any question's reservations or suggestions?"
Pulling Willow into a hug and whispering, "Just come back safe, and soon," into her ear, Tara shooed the pair out the door, and started to busy herself making a quick list of must haves for London. Totally unaware she was being watched.